N.B. introduces changes to animal protection legislation

Animal welfare advocates are welcoming proposed changes to legislation in New Brunswick that include increased fines and a new offence related to animal abandonment.

Andrea Boyd of People for Stronger Animal Protection says her group has been pushing for the changes for years.

Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle says too often people leave an animal behind when the lease on an apartment expires – and that will now be an offence with a fine ranging from $240 to $5,200.

The fine for failing to humanely euthanize an animal will now range between $240 and $10,200, while anyone convicted of holding an animal fighting contest could face a fine of up to $200,000 and be imprisoned up to eight months.

A new section will be added to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act requiring veterinarians to report when they encounter an animal not being properly cared for.

Boyd says she is still pushing the government for more changes, including protection of animals from extreme weather.